Glossary of Bladder Cancer Terms

If you think you might have bladder cancer, you likely have many questions about the subject — from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. On top of these important questions, patients often find themselves overwhelmed with new medical terms and cancer terminology, which can discourage you and reduce your ability to make confident treatment decisions.

Everyone deserves access to easy-to-understand medical information. At Cxbladder, we know a solid understanding of bladder cancer terms can help you evaluate your options and communicate with your doctor more easily.

To help you during this important process, we’ve put together a glossary of common technical terms and phrases you might encounter while learning about bladder cancer detection and treatment.




A biological substance or chemical that indicates the presence of a disease.


A tissue sample taken from a body organ and analyzed, usually under a microscope, to confirm disease diagnosis.


A form of cancer that tends to spread.


Carcinoma in situ. Flat, superficial bladder tumors that tend to grow rapidly and recur.

Clinical trial

A scientific study of a drug or procedure in patients with a specific condition. Results from clinical trials are typically reviewed by medical experts and published in scientific journals.


Placement of a thin, flexible tube and camera inside the urine tube (urethra) and bladder.


Deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecule is a double helix made up of four bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine. It carries the genetic ‘code’ for the body.


Painful ‘peeing’ (urination).


A section of DNA that controls the growth and function of body cells.


Healthcare professional.


Blood in the urine.

Invasive bladder cancer

Cancer that spreads from the bladder lining (urothelium) to deeper layers of the bladder wall.


Blood in the urine (visible).


Blood in the urine (invisible).

Molecular diagnostic test

A test used to identify a disease based on genetic information.


Watching patients for disease worsening or disease return (recurrence).


Messenger ribonucleic acid. This is similar to DNA. It uses the genetic ‘code’ to direct protein production inside the body.

Negative predictive value

Proportion of individuals with a negative test result who are correctly diagnosed.

Positive predictive value

Proportion of individuals with a positive test result who are correctly diagnosed.


Prediction of how a patient’s disease will progress.


The return of disease after medical treatment.


Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A method for multiplying DNA segments, ready for analysis, in a test tube.


The ability of a test to accurately detect a disease.


The ability of a test to exclude a disease if it is not actually present.

Superficial bladder cancer

Cancer affecting the bladder lining (urothelium) only.


A mass of extra tissue caused by unusual cell division.


The urine tube connecting the kidneys to the bladder.


The urine tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body.

Urinary tract

The entire urinary system (kidneys, ureter, bladder, urethra).

Urine-sampling system

A complete Cxbladder system to collect and store your urine sample ready for sending to a Pacific Edge laboratory.


A specialist doctor who treats diseases of the urinary tract and related conditions.


The urine-proof lining along the inside of the urinary tract.

Validation study

A clinical trial that confirms the accuracy, reliability and efficiency of a test.

Want to Know More About Cxbladder?

Getting tested and diagnosed with bladder cancer can feel overwhelming. However, with a bladder cancer glossary at your fingertips, you can feel empowered to ask questions and make care decisions you feel good about.

As you consider your testing options, your doctor might recommend Cxbladder, a suite of non-invasive urine tests that use the level of genetic markers present to accurately detect bladder cancer.

Cxbladder can provide peace of mind and valuable insight for you and your doctor. To learn more about Cxbladder, contact one of our representatives today.

Last Updated: 18 Oct 2023 11:39 am

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